MSR WindBurner Group Stove System
The WindBurner range has been extended for 2018 to include a new remote canister stove and various pots and pans to go with it. Richard Prideaux cooks up a review...
I am going to come right out and say that this is a great compact lightweight auto ignition stove and pot system that is solidly built. It does the job well and it does it fast. It should be ideal for lightweight backpacking/camping, alpine bivis, leaving in the car/van for quick brews or as a backup/second stove when car camping. The heat exchanger and windshield mean that the stove is efficient and you need less fuel to cook your meal, important if on an extended trip in the mountains. It's small and light - 470g. Similar stoves: the MSR Reactor and Jetboil stoves.
What the Primus says:
An expansion of the ETA series, a smaller more compact stove suitable for solo trips. Mounts directly on a LP gas cartridge with a windscreen and a 1 litre pot with heat exchanger. The lid can be used as a frying pan, both the pot and frypan are coated with a 3 layer titanium non-stick surface. All the components including a 230g gas cartridge can be packed into the pot. Comes with net stuff sack.
Packed Size: 135mm diameter x 210mm high (4.5” x 5.9”
Output:2400w / 8500 BTU/h.
Boiling time: 2.5 mins.
Suitable for: 1-2 people
What you get (with approximate weights):
• Compact auto ignition burner that mounts directly on gas canister (100g)
• Burner bag (10g)
• Windshield (40g)
• One Litre Pot with integral heat exchanger, non-stick surface and integral handle (220g)
• Pot lid with non-stick surface and integral handle (75g)
• Primus cloth to protect pot surface when components all packed away inside (12g)
• Mesh carry bag (12g)
• Total weight (without canister) of c. 470g
• Stove Specification claims that a 100g gas canister will boil 11 litres of water and last from 0.6 hours to 1.2 hours.
• Everything fits into pot (even a small gas canister, not supplied)
• Uses threaded LP butane-propane mix canister
I've tested the stove on a few camping trips as a second stove/brew stove and in a couple of car parks making a quick brews. The stove is a pleasure to use and quick to assemble, though the windshield is a bit fiddly and annoying. You can have the stove up and going within 40 seconds. And it's fast - you turn around and the water is boiling before you know it. Other reviews give boil time of 2.5 to 5 minutes depending on starting water temperature, altitude and gas canister status (don't want to get into whether its faster than other makes out there, but it does sure feel quick).
• Compact and well built
• Non stick pot and lid (see Cons) with built in heat fins on pot base
• All metal construction (minimal plastic on the burner)
• The pot and lid have an attractive stoutness
• Cool piezo auto-ignition
• Effective handles
• Everything fits into pot (even a small gas canister)
• Lid ideal for frying an egg
• Fast to boil - you turn around and the water is boiling before you know. Other reviews give boil time of 2.5 to 5 mins depending on water temp, altitude and gas canister status
• Perfect for quick brews, solo stove or stove to leave in the car/van
• Can use with other pans (without windshield): this makes it ideal as second stove system when car camping (see cons).
• Separate accessory available for hanging the system
• Not ideal as main stove system for two people (true for all compact systems?)
• Windshield is fiddly and a bit annoying to set up, but effective once in place • Concern over longevity of non-stick surface. The provided cloth is essential to protect on non-stick surface when everything packed inside the pot
• Finish on pans can give you that “nails down chalkboard” feeling
• All canister mounted stove systems inherently less stable (tent pegs around canister help or purchase/make stabiliser base for canister). However Primus sell both a Cartridge Footrest (for an SRP of only £6) which increases the standing stability and for an SRP of £18 they sell a Hanging Kit to suspend the stove on such as a bivvy ledge.
• Gas often a pain to purchase abroad (true for all LP gas systems)
The Bottom Line
The lightweight EtaExpress system has replaced my Jetboil for throwing in the climbing sack, leaving in the van and as our second camping stove. Will be taking it when we try the Cuillin Ridge later this year.
Primus Power Gas 110g: £2.50
Power Gas 450g: £5.00
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